The Best and Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies in California

The Best and Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies in California

Allstate has the cheapest homeowners insurance rates in California — a policy costs $1,115 per year or $93 per month.

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The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,727 per year, or $144 per month. That's 3% higher than the nationwide average of $1,495.

We obtained thousands of quotes from the largest insurers in California to determine the best insurance for most homeowners. In addition to price, we considered customer reviews and ratings, coverages and availability.

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Best cheap home insurance companies in California

Allstate has the best homeowner insurance rates in California — a policy costs $1,115 per year, on average. Travelers, State Farm, AAA SoCal and USAA also offer cheaper-than-average rates.

USAA also offers great rates and customer service for eligible homeowners, including active-duty military members, veterans and their families.

Company
Rating
Annual
Monthly
Allstate logo
Allstate
$1,115$93
Travelers logo
Travelers
$1,116$93
USAA logo
USAA
$1,484$124
State Farm logo
State Farm
$1,559$130
AAA logo
AAA SoCal
$1,576$131
Nationwide logo
Nationwide
$1,727$144
AAA logo
AAA NorCal
$1,831$153
The Hartford logo
The Hartford
$2,002$167
Farmers logo
Farmers
$2,204$184
Chubb logo
Chubb
$2,661$222
AIG logo
AIGNot rated$2,952$246
Graph showing home insurance rates in California by company

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Best home insurance for most Californians: Allstate

Allstate's combination of affordable premiums, wide range of coverage options and industry-leading bundle discount make it a strong all-around option for most homeowners.
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Allstate offers Californians the cheapest home insurance rates in the state, with a typical cost of $1,115 per year — $612 less than the statewide average. Along with the lowest rates, Allstate has the best discount for bundling home and auto insurance in California. Homeowners who also purchase a car insurance policy can save up to 25%. Allstate also offers a 10% welcome discount for new customers along with payment and safety discounts.

In addition, Allstate offers a number of optional coverage add-ons that Californians may find useful, including:

  • Scheduled coverage for high-value items
  • Business property coverage
  • Sports equipment coverage
  • Electronic data recovery

Best for high-value homes: Chubb

Chubb specializes in insuring high-end homes and has coverage options tailored to the needs of Californians with expensive properties.
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Californians with high-priced homes should consider homeowners insurance from Chubb. The company specializes in providing high levels of insurance coverage for expensive and custom homes. In addition to highly regarded customer service, Chubb offers coverages like extended replacement cost, which pays to repair or replace items even if they cost more than their original value.

Chubb's prices tend to be much higher than its competitors, so homeowners looking for low-cost home insurance should look elsewhere. Additionally, the company typically requires that you buy a certain level of home insurance, so homeowners who don't need a high level of coverage may not qualify.


Best company for great customer service: AIG

AIG offers Californians an excellent customer service experience, but it also has the highest home insurance rates in the state.
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Homeowners who want a high-quality customer service experience should consider AIG. The company has a very low complaint index from the NAIC, meaning it receives fewer complaints than other insurers of its size. It also received an above-average score on the annual J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. Although customer service may not be your top priority on a daily basis, it's important to have an insurer that you can rely on if you have to make a claim.

However, AIG's rates are the highest that we found in California. On average, homeowners can expect to pay $2,952 per year for a policy from AIG, which is $1,225 more than the average price across the state.


Cost of insurance by city in California

Homeowners in Los Osos pay the lowest home insurance rates in California — $1,301 per year. Acton has the highest home insurance rates in the state, $2,710 per year.

In California's largest city, Los Angeles, home insurance rates are 27% higher than the statewide average.

City
Average annual cost
Percent from average
Acalanes Ridge$1,7320%
Acampo$1,684-2%
Acton$2,71057%
Adelanto$2,13323%
Adin$2,13524%
Show All Rows

Insurers with the best and worst customer service reviews in California

The top-rated homeowners insurance companies in California are USAA, AIG and Chubb.

In searching for the best insurance company in California, it's important to consider customer service and financial stability as well as price. We measured customer service by analyzing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey scores and our own editor's ratings.

Company
Home Insurance Rating
USAA
AIG
Chubb
Nationwide
AAA NorCal
AAA SoCal
Allstate
Farmers
State Farm
Travelers
The Hartford

The biggest California home insurance risks: Fire, earthquake and flood

From frequent wildfires filling newspaper headlines to predictions of impending disasters to come, California homeowners are rightly concerned about how far their insurance coverage goes. It's important that California homeowners have the proper coverage in place to protect themselves against common hazards.

Fire insurance in California

Wildfires are a major threat to homes throughout California. Measured by structures destroyed, the November 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County was the most devastating in California history. The risk of fire is at a historic high for the state’s homeowners: 2018 and 2017 went down as the two most destructive wildfire seasons on record, with six of the 10 most destructive fires in state history occurring in the last five years.

Top 10 Most Destructive California Wildfires

Fire name
Date
Structures destroyed
Camp FireNov 201818,804
TubbsOct 20175,636
TunnelOct 19912,900
CedarOct 20032,820
North ComplexAug 20202,352
ValleySep 20151,955
WitchOct 20071,650
WoolseyNov 20181,643
CarrJul 20181,604
GlassSept 20201,520

Source: CAL FIRE.

Fire damage is almost always covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy, so shopping for a separate fire insurance policy is usually unnecessary. However, the increased risk of wildfires in California have led a growing number of insurers to stop offering coverage in areas considered to be high risk for fires.

If you're unable to get a homeowners insurance quote from a typical insurer because you're located in a high-risk area, you should talk to an independent insurance agent who can help you find specialized insurance companies that provide coverage in high-risk zones.

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If all else fails, you can look to the California FAIR Plan Association for fire insurance coverage. The FAIR Plan is a publicly supported program designed to provide coverage for homeowners who cannot get policies on the private market. FAIR plans are often more expensive than private home insurance, so they should be considered a last resort.

It's also important for homeowners to be certain that a home insurance policy will cover the full value of a home in the event of a total loss, meaning if a fire destroys your home. In the November 2018 wildfires, around 40% of claims came from policyholders who had experienced a total loss. It's essential to choose dwelling coverage limits at or above the replacement cost of your home to ensure you're fully covered in a worst-case scenario.


Earthquake insurance in California

In contrast to fire damage, earthquake damage generally won't be covered by homeowners insurance in California.

Homeowners can purchase earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), which sells publicly supported earthquake policies, or private earthquake insurance companies. There are a few requirements to get CEA earthquake coverage:

  • You must already have a residential property insurance policy (homeowners, renters or condo insurance)
  • If your current residential insurance provider participates in the CEA, then you must get your CEA earthquake insurance from that same provider

Compared to mandatory homeowners coverage, earthquake insurance is unpopular for several reasons. It's not required by mortgage lenders as a condition of your home loan. Earthquake insurance can also be costly — for a single-family home with a $500,000 replacement cost, an earthquake policy costs an average of $1,770 per year in California. That's as much as the cost of a standard homeowners insurance policy.


Flood and mudslide insurance in California

Homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Though California is a coastal state, most flooding damage is due to rainfall, not the ocean, so homeowners closer to rivers are at the highest risk. Homeowners looking for flood insurance in California can obtain it from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is sponsored by the federal government, or a private flood insurance company, which has the potential to offer cheaper rates and higher coverage limits.

Mudslide damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance, but homeowners may be covered if the mudslide was caused by a covered event.

For example, wildfires in the hillsides of Montecito caused an extreme mudslide in January 2018. The fires destroyed vegetation in the area, making it more susceptible to debris flows. Since fires are covered by homeowners insurance, and the mudslide was ultimately attributed to the fires, insurance companies largely agreed to cover the damage.

In fact, this precedent was made law with a bill enacted by the California legislature late in 2018, which mandated that insurers would be liable to its policyholders for damage to a home if the initial cause of an event — in this case, a fire — is covered in their policies. The Montecito incident illustrates why California homeowners should be aware of the complexities of what their homeowners insurance policies will and will not cover.

Frequently asked questions

How much is home insurance in California?

Homeowners insurance in California costs $1,727 per year, or $144 per month, on average. However, rates fluctuate between $1,310 and $2,710 depending on where you live in the state.

What is the best homeowners insurance company in California?

The best insurer in California depends on your needs as a homeowner. Allstate has the cheapest rates and best discount for bundling home and auto insurance, while Chubb provides excellent coverage for high-value homes.

How much is homeowners insurance in San Diego?

Home insurance in San Diego costs $1,595 per year, which is 8% cheaper than the statewide average. In comparison, homeowners in San Francisco can expect to pay $1,727, while a policy in Los Angeles costs $2,188, on average.

Methodology

We collected homeowners insurance quotes for properties in every ZIP code in California. Our sample property was built in 1975 and insured to the current median cost of a home in California, $505,000. Quotes for this home were obtained from 11 of the largest home insurance companies in California:

  • AAA NorCal
  • AAA SoCal
  • AIG
  • Allstate
  • Chubb
  • Farmers
  • Nationwide
  • State Farm
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • USAA

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Sources:

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.